Wayne County Schools revisit safety plans at buildings
Following the tragic school shootings at Parkland, Florida, local educators have revisited their safety plans and emergency drill schedules to make sure everyone is well educated and up-to-date on the procedures.
Educators are particularly heartbroken by the events and are even more determined to maintain proper security measures to keep all of the students in the district safe. There are a variety of procedures that have been in place to protect students and staff for years, but they continue to be updated through trainings on a frequent basis.
At the beginning of each school year, local law enforcement and disaster emergency officials review school blueprints and do walk-throughs at each building, so they are current on the lay outs of each building in case a need arose for them to respond to an emergency situation. Administrators are then given feedback on any new procedures to follow in a variety of situations.
The site-based decision making councils at each school building approve a customized emergency plan to fit the needs at their buildings, which is approved annually. The schools routinely practice fire drills, lock downs, earthquake drills, and severe weather events. Students and teachers take the drills seriously and are familiar with the procedures.
Assistant Superintendent Allen Clark met with principals and assistant principals this past week at the middle and high school levels in order to be proactive regarding school security. He said, “Each school is in compliance with their safety plans and emergency drill schedules. “
“We hope there is never a need to implement these crisis procedures, but our schools practice drills and are knowledgeable in how to implement proper protocols in order to protect our students,” said Clark.
Each of the Wayne County Schools’ outdoor access doors remain locked and visitors follow strict procedures when entering at the main entrances. Access to each building is controlled by a school staff person who visually identifies those allowed to enter the building.
In addition, the school district has collaborated with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department to employ a full time school resource officer on the campus, who has made a positive impact the past few years. He is based at the high school, but also patrols the other school buildings and is readily available.
“We maintain the highest safety nets available when it comes to protecting our students and staff. They are our most precious resource,” said Wayne County Schools Superintendent Wayne Roberts. “Our goal is to make sure our schools are the safest place in the community. We encourage individuals to contact their principals or local law enforcement in reporting anything suspicious, from conversations at school to social media posts that may pose a threat.”
“We remain vigil when it comes to watching out for our children and ensuring school safety,” assured Superintendent Wayne Roberts. “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims suffering loss in South Florida and as close as Marshall County, Kentucky.”
In a specific incident on Monday, February 19th, the system was tested and an in-house investigation was held in conjunction with rumors regarding a weapon at the Wayne County Middle School. Once the rumor was reported, administrators acted immediately and found no credible evidence.
Teachers and administrators took the information regarding an alleged weapon extremely seriously. Unfortunately, Wayne County is joining schools across the state intercepting rumors about guns, especially in light of the recent school shootings in South Florida.
If students learn about a possible weapon or threat, they need to report it to their parents or school officials, rather than fellow students. As usual, administrators worked jointly with the school resource officer on duty to address the issue.
A letter went home with Wayne County Middle School students on Monday, in an attempt to be completely transparent, so parents would understand what transpired during the school day. The letter explains the steps taken to determine that there was no evidence to support the rumors. The principal confirmed that each report made was taken with extreme seriousness and investigated.
See links below for more information:
Talking Points for Children About Violence
Talking Points for Children About Violence Infographic
School Safety Fact Sheets (1)
School Safety Fact Sheets (2)